The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton tour diary in the Naga Hills

caption: settlement of land dispute between two clans, Semoma and Thevoma, at Khonoma; affray
medium: tours
person: Thevoma clan/ KhonomaSemoma clan/ Khonoma
ethnicgroup: Kaccha Naga
location: Khonoma Nerhema
date: 12.12.1934-13.12.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 12.12.1934-15.12.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: J.H. Hutton, Tour Diary, December 1934.
text: 12th. To Khonoma.
text: 13th. In the morning I went to settle the Thevoma - Semoma land dispute, which has formed the subject of cases for the last 30 years, any way. The settlement arrived at does not preclude further litigation unfortunately but ties it down to any individual claiming ancestral rights in the area found to be common land to prove his claims by oath.
text: This dispute has always been limited to Semoma and Thevoma clans, but Nerhema show signs of wishing to butt in. The Nerhema dobashi murmured that Semoma took oath for the land originally - many years ago, and Thevoma then substantiated their claims to share it by swearing that the land was common land of Khonoma. This may be true, but the Nerhema lives were not given on the oath, and I said that I should not dream of giving them a share unless they too took oath. Finding the occasion unpropitious they did not put forward this claim. This case has now been heard several times and Nerhema have not claimed a share at all. I think they may try to in the future.
text: In the afternoon I went out to look for wood-cock. I shot a wood-snipe, a wood-cock, and a wood-man - the latter only just touched with 2 No. 9 pellets in the face which barely broke the skin, fortunately, and while I was looking for another 'cock that I had missed an old Gaonbura appeared much out of breath to say that there was an affray in the village and would I come. I found an old man with his face very badly knocked about an ear bitten and mauled, a couple of teeth knocked out, with eyes bunged up and his nose torn, and his whole head and face covered with blood. He had had some dispute about land with a young man and a boy who had knocked him down and kicked him. I arrested the culprits and took them to the I.B. as they would not have been safe in the village for the night, feeling against them being naturally very bitter and the indignation general, even among their relatives.
text: Khonoma complained that they frequently received letters brought by Kachha Nagas with the statement that the matter was urgent and the letter must go on at once, and that they had had to turn out young men to go by night to Kohima and to pay them for it since no one else did. The dak goes every week, presumably any really urgent message that cannot wait for the dak is worth paying for to the Department that sends or receives it. A notice will issue to Civil Surgeon, Commandant and C.W.Overseer to the effect that urgent messages are liable to be paid for at rates according to the merits of the case. Messages by night will be charged for at higher rates than by day.